Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, Volume II: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732–332 B.C.E.)Ephraim Stern (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 716 pp., $45
It was not until the 1990s that archaeological histories of the Biblical periods began to better reflect the wealth of new discoveries and improved methodology of the last 30 years. One of the first of this new generation of books was Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000–586 B.C.E. by Amihai Mazar (Doubleday, 1990), published in the Anchor Bible Reference Library. Its 572 pages were a relatively modest number considering the 9,500-year-long span of its subject matter. With extensive archaeological experience in the Bronze and Iron Ages (3300–586 B.C.E.), Mazar was able to craft a highly engaging, thorough and readable book that clearly and concisely explicated the history and archaeology of ancient Israel. Because Mazar covered so much ground, he judiciously selected only the most essential archaeological data to highlight each historical period.